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What is the Place of Women in Islam?

by | May 9, 2021

As we have mentioned earlier, there might be some that don’t agree with some principles in Islam (especially some women, when it comes to defining who bears responsibility in a family), but to say that women don’t have their place in Islam… just wait one second!

First of all, let’s just state how important women are in Islam (since Muhammad) historically speaking:

The first person to believe in the prophet Muhammad as a messenger was a woman (his wife Khadija).

The first martyr in Islam was a woman (Somaya, the wife of Yaser).

The Prophet Muhammad had no male surviving offspring, all women.

His lineage (even if he cannot help them in any way) is through his daughter, a woman (Fatima).

Multiple women have taught and transmitted religious teachings to men for centuries (from Aïsha, the wife of the prophet to Hassan Al-Basri’s sister).

The oldest continually functioning university (Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco) was founded by a woman (Fatima Al-Fihriya).

If we want an example of how important one single Muslim woman can be in the eyes of a Muslim, we could see the story of Al-Mu’tasim. Everyone knows the legend (myth) of Helen of Troy, how she is the face that sailed 1000 ships; all that because of a love triangle. Well, for Muslims, we don’t need to make up that drama. In 837, the armies of Emperor Theophilos, 100 000 strong, attacked, and destroyed the Muslim cities of Zibatrah and Malatya. Fleeing refugees made their way to Samarra where they spoke of the horror of the attack. On that day, a Muslim woman who was taken captive cried out: O Mu’tasim!!! After word reached him of her story; this was the answer he gave to Theophilos: “Ya Kalb Ar-Rum! (Oh you Roman dog!) I have an army of men that stretch from where I stand (Baghdad) to where you stand (Constantinople), who love to fight and die as much as your men love to live.”

After the Muslim armies laid siege and entered as victors (in Amorium), Al-Mu’tasim freed the Muslim prisoners including the woman in question.

This is how women are perceived and treated in Islam, historically, and today.

Now, don’t think that because there are not as many “notable” women as men throughout history that women did not have anything to do with it. You know the saying that behind each great man, there is a great woman. Well, in our case, it is an even greater woman. How many mothers, wives, sisters, daughters… counseled, consoled, and consolidated their men into being men for the ages?

Probability, you won’t Get the Best of Me! – Scientific Proofs in the Quran

Probability, you won’t Get the Best of Me! – Scientific Proofs in the Quran

If anyone is a betting man, he knows that most of the time he will lose; it is a question of numbers. Winning every time is improbable and practically impossible. When flipping a coin, you have one chance out of two of getting it right. 50%, not bad; but repeat it four times straight; not too confident, are you?

Let’s transpose that example to the prophet Muhammad; he got every single verifiable (with our limited knowledge to date) phenomenon right. Not only he got them right, but most of them are also explained; not just enunciated or left for interpretation. Let’s say there are about 20 scientific/natural phenomenon (Actually, more have been mentioned and others left out since a multitude of authors have done a better job than me explaining them. Plus, 20 seems like a pretty round number, and we don’t want to sound boastful either) that were elucidated 1400 years ago, by an illiterate Arab that had no aspirations to science whatsoever… When you do the math: ½ at the power 20 is ½ x ½ x½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½. That gives you the possibility of 1/1 048 576 of getting it right. That is less than one in a million probability; becoming less and less a betting man…Keep in mind, considering that the questioning is in a yes or no format; true or false to a given question (without formulating the solution and adding all the explanation that comes with it in the Quran and Hadith).

The thing is, it is not because the prophet Muhammad was an expert in astronomy, geology, chemistry, nuclear physics, biology, botany, entomology, oceanology, or even historical science that he got it right all the time. It is because the only thing he got right out of all of this is that he wholeheartedly believed in Allah. All these, verses, signs, scientific phenomenon were not explained or tackled by the prophet Muhammad; they were brought forth by Allah, the All-Knowing.

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.

Surah Al-Anam (6 – 59)


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